Predatory Transients

Later, neighbors would recall the blood leaking from the tote-box on the back of Ma Yong's motorcycle, the screams they heard but ignored, and their bewilderment over why Ma scrubbed his floor so often. For most of the past half-century, such activities would have alarmed nosy neighborhood committees or piqued a work unit's interest. No more. In the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen, declared in 1980 as one of the nation's first special economic zones, nearly all the 5 million inhabitants are strangers who arrived from across China only in the past decade. Neighbors aren't particularly interested in what goes on...

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